Barton and his father made the short trip north for his fourth visit to the Hilltop and enjoyed his time in Dallas once again.
“Me and my dad went up for the game and it was just good to see the fan support and how everything is picking up with the new era that’s starting there,” Barton said. “It was good to see all of that start to take shape.”
The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Barton was originally recruited by offensive coordinator Joe Craddock, but Craddock has since handed over the reigns to offensive line coach Dustin Fry and defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt.
Barton picked up his SMU offer from Fry back on his February 21 visit to the Hilltop for junior day.
“Me, my dad and (Fry) had spent most of the day together and he just told us that he was really excited about me and that he thought I could be a big asset to them going forward and he wanted me to play for them,” Barton recalled.
Barton hopes to major in business once in college and knows SMU is known for the Cox School of Business, but that’s not the only thing that impresses him about the school.
“I’ve kind of been a part of a turnaround program (in high school) and I like how Coach Morris is so energetic about it. He’s really motivated to turn around the program and I like that a lot,” Barton said. “I think the facilities now are good also, and obviously with the improvements Coach Morris is putting into place they’ll be awesome going forward so I’m really excited about that.”
However, SMU isn’t the only program going after the offensive lineman with an exceptional business school.
Texas State, Columbia, Harvard, Air Force, Army, Navy, Cornell and SMU have all offered Barton in some capacity, and the rising senior is also hearing from Arkansas, California, NC State, North Carolina and Rutgers.
Despite the competition, SMU’s new coaching staff has made a lasting impression on Barton, and while he doesn’t plan on making a commitment for quite some time, the Mustangs have done everything right so far.
“I would say SMU sticks out to me the most,” Barton said. “Then close behind them are Navy and Air Force. I’ll definitely get up (to SMU) for a couple of games this year and hopefully one on an official visit. ”
Even with another year of high school football in front of him, Barton is already focused on improving his game for the next level.
“I’m continuing to work hard to get stronger and just keep gaining good wait,” Barton said. “I’ve been working a lot on my pass set and snapping the ball from center since that’s where I want to play in college. I think Coach Fry has the intentions for me to play guard, but between guard and center, I’m open to either one.”